If you give the Ford Mustang credit for anything, it should be resiliency. Introduced in 1964 as a ’65 model, the Mustang has been in continuous production ever since.
Statisticians refer to groups of similar-value data points as clusters. In fact, there is a field of study known as cluster analysis, which looks to identify common threads linking cluster elements to each other.
It was a bold move by General Motors. In one fell swoop, GM discontinued four vehicles that had grown mostly irrelevant, and replaced them with modern, cutting-edge machines perfectly tailored to meet the expectations of a changing marketplace.
The traditional sedan is dead. Ask any product planner at any manufacturer, and he or she will tell you just that. Toyota’s RAV4 compact crossover has been outselling the brand’s Camry sedan for a while now… and the Camry had previously been America’s most-popular vehicle (that wasn’t a full-size pickup) for many years running.
Per most automotive historians, the automotive Malaise Era—the period during which American carmakers built relatively low-power and rather dull vehicles—ran from 1973 through 1983.
By the time Consumer Guide’s review of the 1989 Chrysler Fifth Avenue was published in the Consumer Guide 1989 New Car Buying Guide, production of the car itself had already ended. A completely redesigned front-wheel-drive Fifth Avenue would be introduced as a 1990 model, marking the end of Chrysler’s run of rear-drive luxury and near-luxury vehicles—at least for a while. As noted in the review, there were still cars on dealer lots, but maybe not for long.
For Buick, 1986 was a transitional year; it was also a down year saleswise. The transition came in the form of an all-new LeSabre. For ’86 Buick’s bread-and-butter big sedans and coupes migrated to a front-drive platform, joining the higher-end Electra models that were downsized the year before.
I was pumping gas for a living in 1986, a job that enabled me to do more than my fair share of car watching. Thus, it saddens me a little to compile this list of forgotten rides.
By 1986, car shoppers were looking for a little more than basic transportation. And while cheap/affordable cars were still the best-selling models, they were generally equipped with such conveniences as automatic transmission and such niceties as FM radio and air conditioning.